Saturday 19 January 2019

Castres soaring high and Racing win

European Watch

Racing's Donnacha Ryan. Photo: Sportsfile
Racing's Donnacha Ryan. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Just a week away from their return to Champions Cup action Munster are desperately seeking to rediscover their European form, but Pool 4 rivals Castres, who visit Thomond Park in the key final game, have no such trouble.

A seventh Top 14 win in-a-row sees Castres up to second in the French standings, but considering that victory came at the home of Clermont, on a 31-27 scoreline, it is quite the achievement.

The week before Castres beat Stade Francais in another big showing, but despite picking up five yellow cards against Clermont, second-half tries from David Smith, Alex Tulou and Ludo Radosavljevic saw Christophe Urios's side to the win.

But before they meet Castres, Munster face a very difficult away test against Racing 92 at their newly-opened U Arena in Paris.

Clermont travel to the new venue this weekend, where they face a Racing side buoyed by their latest away win: a 16-12 toppling of Oyonnax.

Ex-Munster lock Donnacha Ryan started against the league's bottom side, but sat out the win over Toulouse the previous week, victories that mean Racing are fourth in the standings.

Meanwhile, in the English Premiership, Leicester Tigers' poor run continues as a fourth league defeat in a row has them dwindling in ninth place.

Champions Chiefs took the honours by 30-6, although London Irish should prove beatable this weekend for Tigers.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport